The San Diego Padres were never expected to chase the playoffs this season. What does that mean for the rest of the year?
I hate to say this but it needs to be said; the San Diego Padres are probably not going to make the playoffs.
For months leading up to the 2019 season, one sentiment was echoed with fierce conviction: 2020 is our year.
Padres fans knew they were in for one final year of rebuilding. This was supposed to be the last season where we monitor certain prospects, tinker with the lineup, and make some last-minute moves before a legitimate playoff push next year.
In preparation, the front office made a few big decisions — primarily, they signed Manny Machado to a 10-year, $300 million contract and brought up the number one prospect to join the Opening Day crew.
Without a doubt, those two moves have contributed significantly to where we are now — 2.5 games back from a wild card spot, still in the thick of a race that’s any anything but settled.
This doesn’t feel like the makings of a rebuilding year.
Nevertheless, we need to take off the rose-colored glasses; the Padres are still missing several pieces for legitimate contention, and especially for a shot at the National League West crown.
It’s certainly possible that the Friars make the playoffs this season; one of my bold predictions for the second half was that the Padres would actually sneak into a wild card spot, stun their opponent in the winner-takes-all match up, and get to dance in the NL Divisional Series.
I still stand by that, too. Making the playoffs would obviously show improvement for a club that hasn’t played October baseball in more than 10 years.
You know what else would be a sign of improvement? Finishing the year above .500, something the Friars haven’t accomplished since 2010.
A taste of the playoffs would put us way ahead of schedule — if this is supposed to be the last year of misery and the Padres make it into October, then count me in.
We should take a step back, though, and try to reevaluate our priorities as we put this season into perspective. I trust A.J. Preller to make decisions with our long-term future in mind, not getting too trade-happy after only 90 games. We shouldn’t — no, cannot — make moves for 2019. We need to make moves for 2020, 2021, 2022, and beyond.
With all that in mind, it’s going to be a bumpy and exciting ride to the end of the year. Here’s what I’m expecting by season’s end.